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Seattle’s 16 best places to Instagram outside

Take advantage of Seattle’s gorgeous sights

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The days are getting longer in Seattle, the flowers are emerging, and everything outside is gorgeous. Maybe you just took a trip here, or you’re spending some extra time exploring your city. Yes, it’s good to have experiences whether or not you’re taking photos, but sometimes, you’re doing it for the ‘gram.

Either way: You might want to keep your Instagram followers posted with something more interesting than the Space Needle, even if it does have that cool glass floor now.

We’ve mapped 15 spots to get some double-tap worthy Instas, from urban backdrops to watery landscapes to skyline views. Some of these are just really incredible murals, including a collection of very good dogs in a Belltown dog park. A couple you may know already, even if not by name, like the iconic view from Kerry Park. Looking for some architectural prestige? Try the brutalist Freeway Park fountain.

These aren’t all clustered around downtown, though. There are infinite jaw-dropping photo ops at Kubota Garden to the south, or head north to Carkeek Park for views, beach, and trains, all right next to each other.

And even if you’re not keeping your social media updated, maybe bring a camera along to these locations—just for yourself.

Map points are ordered north to south.

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1. Carkeek Park

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950 NW Carkeek Park Rd
Seattle, WA 98177
(206) 684-0877
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There are so many great photo ops in Carkeek Park without even hitting the trails: the overlook to the beach, the bridge over the railroad tracks (framed by either the grate, a train, or the beach view below), or out on the water itself. Just watch out for that afternoon and evening sun—this west-facing park can get a little backlit if you’re trying to get a photo with the water view.

2. Fremont Troll

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Troll Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 684-2489
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Obviously the Fremont Troll is a big deal around here, and for good reason: It’s a unique and ambitious art installation that has helped define the Fremont neighborhood’s weird reputation. It’s also screaming for some unique poses around it, whether he’s creeping up behind you or you’re taking a rest in his giant hands.

3. Gas Works Park

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2101 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 684-4075
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There’s a little something for everybody here: Industrial ruins! Water views! A grassy hill! Since it’s right along the Burke-Gilman Trail, it’s also a popular spot for bike selfies (or just photos of your sweet bike).

A post shared by Chuck Edgin (@chuckedgin) on

4. Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens

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2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 543-8800
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There’s such a diversity of plants and landscaping in this park, which also sits along Lake Washington, that you won’t be sure whether to start taking pictures or painting. It’s also a popular spot for kayaking for that on-the-water aesthetic.

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5. Magnolia Park

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1461 Magnolia Blvd W
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 684-4075
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While smaller than nearby Discovery Park, Magnolia Park offers stunning water views from a grassy field.

6. Kerry Park

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211 W Highland Dr
Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 684-4075
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You too can get that iconic skyline view so often used in establishing shots. That familiar shape that puts the Space Needle front-and-center comes from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park—essentially built for Seattle photo ops. The design-minded can also grab a shot with Changing Form, a steel sculpture Doris Totten Chase designed to frame the view.

A post shared by laura (@outerspacelaura) on

7. Pacific Science Center

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200 2nd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 443-2001
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Walk right past the Space Needle and get an awesome portrait with the arches, also built for the Century 21 Exposition—just as iconic, and with the same retro-futuristic vibe. Pay your admission and grab a few shots in the incredible courtyard before heading inside to check out the exhibits.

8. Olympic Sculpture Park

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2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 654-3100
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In addition to being full of art to decorate your feed, the Olympic Sculpture Park connects to the waterfront and runs along Elliott Bay, peppered with both rocky beaches and industrial equipment.

A post shared by Samantha G (@shmuella) on

9. Regrade Park

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2251 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
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Grab your pup and take the dreamest selfie by the magic dog mural by Cern lining this popular dog park. Draft a friend to take the photo for a wider angle on that giant, angelic Pomeranian face.

A post shared by GP (@filmgrl29) on

10. Freeway Park fountain

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700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
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A fountain at the south edge of Lawrence Halprin-designed Freeway Park is a dynamic, brutalist mountain—popular amongst parkour enthusiasts and engagement photographers alike. It also makes a fantastic backdrop to any Instagram portrait.

11. Gum Wall

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1428 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101

Let all your followers know that you, too, have mingled with the saliva of millions. (It does make a colorful, abstract backdrop.)

A post shared by Emma Monden (@emmamonden) on

12. Pier 57

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1301 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 602-1808
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Here’s where you get your shot with that giant Ferris wheel—or just a pretty photo of Elliott Bay. Bonus shots: There’s a carousel and a few fisherman statues you can pose with inside.

A post shared by Dessiré (@dessirefi) on

13. Occidental Square

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117 S Washington St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-4075
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The bricks lining the ground and the west side of Occidental Square are an iconic part of Seattle—and make great backdrops. The corridor of trees down the center can also provide some solid, natural framing.

A post shared by Camila Picolli (@milapicolli) on

14. Hamilton Viewpoint Park

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1120 California Way SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 684-4075
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This little park at the northern edge of West Seattle offers clear views of the downtown skyline over Elliott Bay.

A post shared by Amanda Rasch (@amanda_rasch) on

15. Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and Park

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1007 12th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 684-4075
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This is another great spot to get an iconic city view—and, mostly beloved by locals, it’s not quite as well-known as Kerry Park. The park also has an off-leash area for all your dog-photo needs.

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16. Kubota Garden

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9817 55th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 725-5060
Visit Website

Want a cute photo of a bridge? There are so many to choose from. Flowers? Got ‘em. Trees? Those too. Kubota Garden was once the personal garden of sought-after landscape artist Fujitaro Kubota, and uses Japanese gardening concepts to showcase Northwest plant life. Now, it’s a city park—an a popular spot for photography, whether an SLR or an iPhone.

A post shared by Tuan Lee (@leeleexlove) on

1. Carkeek Park

950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98177

There are so many great photo ops in Carkeek Park without even hitting the trails: the overlook to the beach, the bridge over the railroad tracks (framed by either the grate, a train, or the beach view below), or out on the water itself. Just watch out for that afternoon and evening sun—this west-facing park can get a little backlit if you’re trying to get a photo with the water view.

950 NW Carkeek Park Rd
Seattle, WA 98177

2. Fremont Troll

Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Obviously the Fremont Troll is a big deal around here, and for good reason: It’s a unique and ambitious art installation that has helped define the Fremont neighborhood’s weird reputation. It’s also screaming for some unique poses around it, whether he’s creeping up behind you or you’re taking a rest in his giant hands.

Troll Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

3. Gas Works Park

2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103

There’s a little something for everybody here: Industrial ruins! Water views! A grassy hill! Since it’s right along the Burke-Gilman Trail, it’s also a popular spot for bike selfies (or just photos of your sweet bike).

2101 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens

2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112

There’s such a diversity of plants and landscaping in this park, which also sits along Lake Washington, that you won’t be sure whether to start taking pictures or painting. It’s also a popular spot for kayaking for that on-the-water aesthetic.

2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112

5. Magnolia Park

1461 Magnolia Blvd W, Seattle, WA 98199

While smaller than nearby Discovery Park, Magnolia Park offers stunning water views from a grassy field.

1461 Magnolia Blvd W
Seattle, WA 98199

6. Kerry Park

211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119

You too can get that iconic skyline view so often used in establishing shots. That familiar shape that puts the Space Needle front-and-center comes from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park—essentially built for Seattle photo ops. The design-minded can also grab a shot with Changing Form, a steel sculpture Doris Totten Chase designed to frame the view.

211 W Highland Dr
Seattle, WA 98119

7. Pacific Science Center

200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Walk right past the Space Needle and get an awesome portrait with the arches, also built for the Century 21 Exposition—just as iconic, and with the same retro-futuristic vibe. Pay your admission and grab a few shots in the incredible courtyard before heading inside to check out the exhibits.

200 2nd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

8. Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

In addition to being full of art to decorate your feed, the Olympic Sculpture Park connects to the waterfront and runs along Elliott Bay, peppered with both rocky beaches and industrial equipment.

2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

9. Regrade Park

2251 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Grab your pup and take the dreamest selfie by the magic dog mural by Cern lining this popular dog park. Draft a friend to take the photo for a wider angle on that giant, angelic Pomeranian face.

2251 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

10. Freeway Park fountain

700 Seneca St, Seattle, WA 98101

A fountain at the south edge of Lawrence Halprin-designed Freeway Park is a dynamic, brutalist mountain—popular amongst parkour enthusiasts and engagement photographers alike. It also makes a fantastic backdrop to any Instagram portrait.

700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101

11. Gum Wall

1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

Let all your followers know that you, too, have mingled with the saliva of millions. (It does make a colorful, abstract backdrop.)

1428 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101

12. Pier 57

1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Here’s where you get your shot with that giant Ferris wheel—or just a pretty photo of Elliott Bay. Bonus shots: There’s a carousel and a few fisherman statues you can pose with inside.

1301 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101

13. Occidental Square

117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104

The bricks lining the ground and the west side of Occidental Square are an iconic part of Seattle—and make great backdrops. The corridor of trees down the center can also provide some solid, natural framing.

117 S Washington St
Seattle, WA 98104

14. Hamilton Viewpoint Park

1120 California Way SW, Seattle, WA 98116

This little park at the northern edge of West Seattle offers clear views of the downtown skyline over Elliott Bay.

1120 California Way SW
Seattle, WA 98116

15. Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and Park

1007 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

This is another great spot to get an iconic city view—and, mostly beloved by locals, it’s not quite as well-known as Kerry Park. The park also has an off-leash area for all your dog-photo needs.

1007 12th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

16. Kubota Garden

9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Want a cute photo of a bridge? There are so many to choose from. Flowers? Got ‘em. Trees? Those too. Kubota Garden was once the personal garden of sought-after landscape artist Fujitaro Kubota, and uses Japanese gardening concepts to showcase Northwest plant life. Now, it’s a city park—an a popular spot for photography, whether an SLR or an iPhone.

9817 55th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118